A man finds pants in a tree. These pants belong to Howard Young, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the father of our heroine, Ruth Young. Ruth is freshly dis-engaged from her fiancé and has quit her job to move home and help care for her father. The subject matter of Rachel Khong’s debut novel is serious, but the author (somehow) keeps it light.

Ruth passes the time sourcing jellyfish (a great brain food) and arranging dummy university classes to appease her father, a former professor. The book interlaces comic scenarios (a class on the entertainment industry at Disneyland, anyone?) with some hard-hitting family truths, serving up a read that’s both moving and laugh-inducing.

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